12 Best Places to Visit in Taipei for First-time Visitors

As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei houses varieties of attractions to see. You could witness the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, learn the local culture at historical sites, see the beautiful natural sceneries, and enjoy a leisurely holiday at nearby towns. The following recommended best places to visit in Taipei will help you have a memorable tour in the city. 

1 

Taipei 101

On your arrival in Taipei, you would be sure see Taipei 101, the highest building in the city, and once the highest skyscraper worldwide. It is a beautiful building itself. What’s more, it’s the best place in Taipei to visit. Inside, there are stores of world famous brands selling clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics, etc and restaurants offering food from all over the world. Besides, you can take the high speed elevator to the observation decks, to see the cityscapes and the night views of the whole city, which are the most popular activities in Taipei. On the 89F, you may see the city outside the glass windows. Up to 101F, you can either appreciate the cityscapes indoor or outdoor standing against the balustrade on the rooftop deck.

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Taipei National Palace Museum is another top place to visit in Taipei, where you will marvel at Chinese civilization behind more than 690,000 pieces of collections of ancient relics and treasures. The most priceless ones are the Meat-shaped Stone – one of the four rarest stones in China, Jadeite Cabbage – an exquisite jade carving of Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911 AD), and Duke Mao Tripod – a large bronze vessel of West Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC - 771 BC) with the longest inscription in China.

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3 

National Taiwan University

Built in 1928, National Taiwan University is the best, the largest as well as the oldest university in Taiwan, so included in the places to go in Taipei, especially for student tourists. Most of the old buildings were constructed with reddish bricks, in an old Japanese style. In March, the azalea flowers are in full bloom, making the campus more charming, and that’s why it has been called as “Azalea Town”. You may stroll around the garden-like campus, to see the old-timey architecture, and to immerse yourself in the cultural atmosphere.
4 

Songshan Cultural & Creative Park

It used to a tobacco factory constructed under Japan’s rule. In 2001, the factory was partly torn down and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park was built. Now it is an interesting Taipei place to visit, to learn the tobacco culture and modern arts. You can see some remains of the Tobacco Factory. In addition, diverse cultural exhibitions are held every now and then. You may visit Taiwan Design Museum, enjoy the exotic beauty at Baroque Garden, and see various crafts made of colored glazes in LIULI Museum, etc. You may also buy some creative handicrafts there or make one on your own in one of the workshops.
5 

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is absolutely one of the hottest places to visit in Taipei, Taiwan. It is in a mixed traditional Chinese and western style. The grand archway of Freedom Square is the landmark there. Apart from the impressive architecture, you can see the bronze sitting statue of Chiang Kai-shek, the exhibition hall of historical relics, and multiple art galleries. The solemn rite of “guards change” on the hour at Bronze Statue Hall should not be missed. And on the Freedom Square, there are often performances. On Lantern Festival, grand lantern fair would be held there.
6 

Taipei Zoo

If you are planning a family trip with kids, this place in Taipei should be considered. Based on the landforms, Taipei Zoo is divided into several zones for the animals from tropical rainforest, desert, African savannah, Australia, etc. Most areas are cage-free so that these animals could live freely. Koalas and penguins are the most popular stars there, and you can see the cute pandas and other endangered animals in the special exhibition hall.
7 

Maokong

Maokong is a valley once with a stream flowing through. As the traces left by the stream look like the scratches by cats, hence the place was named as Maokong, literally “cat scratches”. Now it is a popular tourist destination. Among places to see in Taipei, it stands out for tea culture because of the vast tea plantations, various tea shops and tea houses. Besides, on the summit of Maokong, you can overlook the valley and the city, and it becomes one of the best sites for night views of Taipei. There are hiking trails for visitors to climb up there. However, Maokong Gondola is a must try, running between Taipei Zoo on the mountain foot and Maokong Station on the mountain top. You can look down to the zoo, tea plantations and forests on the cable car.
8 

Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is a palatial site out of places to visit in Taipei. It was built in memory of the centenary birthday of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the pioneer of China’s modern revolution. There are exhibition halls with relics of Sun Yat-sen, and videos about his great contributions for China’s independence and freedom. The hall is in a park with flowers and trees, so you can also see the daily life of local people. The same as Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the rite of “guards change” on the clock is solemn and worth seeing. And it’s a nice site to take photos of Taipei 101.
9 

Hsimending & The Red House

Hsimending is a famous commercial district leading the local fashion trends, so becoming one of the best places in Taipei to go, especially for youngsters. You can have a good time shopping for unique and fashionable stuff there. Palatable foods are easily available at the roadside restaurants and stalls, too. You may also enjoy the local nightlife at one of the bars in Hsimending. It grew up since 1920s, thus you would see many old architecture and the colorful graffiti street. The Red House is an icon and landmark there. The red outer walls, and the special design combining the cross and the eight-trigrams make it very eye-catching. Inside, there are exhibitions, tea house, art performances for you to have fun.

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10 

Longshan Temple

Longshan Temple, or called Lungshan Temple of Manka, is one of the most famed historical sites and Taipei places to go. The ancient courtyards and halls are very majestic. The colored roof ridges with strange shaped statues of mythical animals are especially impressive. Meanwhile, it is the best-known temple in the city, and large flows of pilgrims go there to pray for blessings. If you are interested, you can follow the trend to draw a Chinese divination stick to tell your fortune.

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11 

Presidential Office Building

Completed in 1919, Presidential Office Building in the post-Renaissance style has been the political center of Taiwan. From Monday to Friday, the 1st floor is open to the public for visiting. You could see the relics kept there and the text introducing the old building. If you go there on the first Saturday in each month, you can also go to the 2nd and 3rd floors, to see the meeting rooms and the gorgeous assembly hall. It is stately among Taipei best places to visit. Before going, you need to book a ticket on the official website and enter the building with your ID certificate after the security check.
12 

Ningxia Night Market

Night market is a must go in Taiwan, and Ningxia Night Market is the must in Taipei. Compared with other night markets, Ningxia Night Market is not the largest, but it is the most popular among the locals with the most varieties of foods. Thus it is listed on the places to visit in Taipei. It is 400 meters (440 yards) long in the old Twatutia business district, and the vendors put their food stands and tables in the middles of the street. You can find not only the local snacks like oyster omelette, taro cake with egg yolk, pork liver soup, but also the Shandong steamed dumplings, Shanghai pan-fried buns, Mongolian barbecue and other tasty foods from China mainland.

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Further Reading: Top 10 Things to Do in Taipei
- Last modified on Feb. 01, 2021 -
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